mom and child carving pumpkins

Carved pumpkins are full of science and kids can become a rotten pumpkin scientist by studying it as it rots.  You and your child can begin your experiment right after it’s carved by scooping out the pumpkin guts and studying them up close!   

You will need: 

  • A tray to hold the insides of the pumpkin 
  • A magnifying glass to get up close 
  • Gloves, if you are squeamish 
  • A ziplock bag, with pumpkin guts sealed inside, so that even the youngest child can explore. 

Next, have a conversation about what you are looking at and ask open ended questions. 

Have your child describe how the pumpkin smells, how it feels, how it looks.  Talk about the colors of the pumpkin. Ask if it makes any sounds. Does it remind your child of anything they have touched before?

Document how the pumpkin looks now (either by a photo, a written description, or a drawn picture) so that comparisons can be made later. Over the next one to two weeks, as kids watch their pumpkin rot have them document what is happening and have a conversation around what they are looking at.  Make your own documentation paper or use ours.